Saturday thoughts 12 October 2019

Old monkey

China Trade:  We are calling it Phase One and the Chinese media are calling it a pause in the trade war.  Both of those work for me.  We will see if the 2nd phase yields fruit like, a halt to enforced technology transfer in joint ventures, but the present deal has a couple of important things in it.  1. The 40 billion dollar commitment to agricultural purchases in the US will bolster Trump's political support in flyover country and the red parts of blue states.  2.   After 1 January, 2020 there will not be a requirement for US companies setting up subsidiaries in China to have a Chinese partner who holds 51% of the stock in the company.  I used to work for a company that had  parts of the group in a variety of Persian Gulf states.  In all these we were required to have 51% local ownership (mostly princes) and it was a royal pain in the ass as these fellows sometimes wanted to interfere in the business.  They were no more knowledgeable of the business than was Biden fils in his business adventures.  Not to have that problem would be a great blessing.

Trials in the US Senate  We should remember that quite a lot of people have been tried in the senate after impeachment in the House of Representatives.  Judges, etc. are subject to this process from time to time.  Conviction requires 66% of those senators present.  Presumably, senators will be dragged or carried in to make this vote if necessary.  The Chief Justice of SCOTUS presides at the trial.  Four Democratic senators are running for president in primaries for the purpose of opposing Trump in the general election.  As an interested citizen, I think that the majority (McConnell) could appeal to SCOTUS for a ruling as to whether or not these four senators are so compromised by their stated desire for the ejection of the president from office that they are disqualified from voting on the issue of his removal from office.  We are on new ground in this matter and my opinion is probably as good as anyone's.  If Trump were somehow convicted in the senate, he would immediately be removed from office.  There is no appeal possible.  A second vote would then be possible but not required as to whether or not Trump should be forever barred from holding any federal government office.  Conviction on that issue would require a simple majority of those senators present.  Is that important?  Yes.  If he were not barred from office, he could be nominated at the Republican Convention and run for president in 2020. 

California Burning  In addition to its transformation into a refuge for illegal immigrants and a camp ground for free defecating vagrants camped on its city streets, California is once again burning in its wooded and brushy parts.  Perennial drought brings this on in a largely semi-desert part of the US, BUT, pilgrims, there has also been the effect of decades of effective eco-freak opposition to cutting combustibles back from power line right of ways in order to protect Bambi's habitat.  So, when Governor Gavin Newsom says that the electric company (PG&E) CAUSED this through greed and negligence, I call that trash talk.

Shephard Smith got fired  So what!  This guy has been an unrelenting opponent of Trump forever.  The Left has a stranglehold on what is laughably called the Main Stream Media;  CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, The Washington Post, NY Times, etc., ad nauseam.  In that context the existence of Fox News as a standard bearer for conservative, i.e., Deplorable values does not seem excessive to me.   There are a few more liberal/lefties who are tolerated in Fox News/Fox Business News to provide opposing views for contemplation.  Chris Wallace, Juan Williams, Arthel Neville are all names that come to mind as the resident "resistance."  Do these people go over the line into unproductive argument?  Maybe so.  pl


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61 Responses to Saturday thoughts 12 October 2019

  1. Fred says:

    In California the level of criminal incompetence boggles the mind unless one remebmers The phrase “worse is better”. The left has set the stage for “Do Something!” changes that could never be enacted by popular will. The electric utility company shut off half the grid? So much for those solar powered homes, they won’t power your house without the grid; Electric cars? Not to worry Tesla is deploynig lots of deisel generators so you can have full climate change emission charging rather than a zero charge clunker.
    The regulatory climate in California that created this mess predates the Enron enhanced energy debable of 2000. That broght Grey Davis down and started the lurch to the left. Good job guys, gals and special pronoun people.
    Regarding China, the EU just imposted tariffs on steel wheel imports. Looks like they are learning from Trump.

  2. Bob L says:

    A Syrian Christian perspective on Trump pulling troops out of Syria:
    Syrian Christians Proclaim “Trump is right on Syria!” YPG Kurds are responsible for escalation in Northeast Syria
    09 OCTOBER 2019
    “President Trump is right on Syria!,” according to Johny Messo, the President of the World Council of Arameans (Syriacs) (“WCA”). Withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria and halting financial and arms support to the YPG Kurds may help restore peace and security in Syria. Messo further argues that “the YPG Kurds are responsible for the current escalation in the northeast and that they hold the key for peace in this part of our ancestral homeland.”
    1) President Trump made the right decision in withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria to end the “ridiculous endless wars,” fulfilling yet another campaign promise; he already ended the covert CIA program of 2013 to arm the “rebels” in Syria. America’s mission to destroy the Caliphate and military power of ISIS was achieved in March 2019. So there was no cogent reason to stay in Syria, let alone to keep arming the YPG Kurds. Staying rather than leaving would be a greater security threat and burden for America.
    2) Trump’s edict may lead to peace, security and stability in Syria. Despite the powerful war narrative and war lobby, Trump shows the world that America chooses peace and jobs at home above wars abroad. If other countries follow suit, primarily those whose foreign policies largely follow America’s course, and stop arming their proxies, violence will soon end. Then one can finally focus on seeking a genuine political solution for Syria, beginning in a few weeks through the UN-facilitated Constitutional Committee.
    3) The PKK and the PYD/YPG Kurds, who control the SDF, are two sides of the same coin. The communist ideology and violent nature of these nationalist organizations discredit democratic and liberal values. These ‘heroes’ have oppressed vulnerable Arameans, taken their innocent lives, Kurdified their lands and still use a tiny Christian group as their mouthpiece to represent Kurdish interests. The resentment against the YPG among the locals is prevalent, yet underreported. In due time, their authoritarian governance would likely lead to an ISIS 2.0 among the local Arabs, who outnumber the Kurds, mainly among Arab nationalists and among conservative Arab and Kurdish Muslims…
    [read the rest at: ]

  3. Seamus Padraig says:

    After 1 January, 2020 there will not be a requirement for US companies setting up subsidiaries in China to have a Chinese partner who holds 51% of the stock in the company.

    I was under the impression that that had always been true in the PRC.

  4. akaPatience says:

    Great comments. Totally agree.
    Two people who I’ve known well and who’ve done business in China have had very bad experiences. One CEO built a plant over there and it wasn’t long before embezzlement by the Chinese partners became egregious – to the tune of millions and millions of dollars.
    The second person was actually a Fortune 500 employee whose Mandarin language skills landed him the job of trying to root out Chinese counterfeiting of American products. As one may imagine, this was an endless, and dangerous, endeavor.
    California’s beauty is alluring and my husband and I have hiked all over the state. But as you suggest, if left to nature much of it would be arid. The hypocrisy of the reliance on dams for water diversion, thus radically altering landscapes in not only California but other parts of the West, is of course lost on most “environmentalists” who’ve resisted effective forest management. PG&E is apparently driving a hard bargain in order to be exempted from liability for wild fires. The home generator business must be booming there these days.

  5. optimax says:

    Just heard on the radio John Solomon says Ukraine IC reopened the investigation into Burisma and Biden kid in February, long before Trump asked Ukrainian president to do so. This means the whistle blower’s timeline is inaccurate. I predict msm will ignore this info.

  6. D. Mathews says:

    I’ll applaud that Trump allegedly got something that will ameliorate the theft of U.S. property rights. Nevertheless it is important to point out that their behavior (the Chinese) isn’t unique. We had a notorious thief of our own. His name was Samuel Slater.
    As for the broader issue of property rights and patents, it should be noted that these are antithetical to free trade. Even if one views that as being too ‘theoretical’, patents go pretty far to explain the high cost of our pharmaceuticals.

  7. turcopolier says:

    Seamus Padraig
    Is it not in the “deal?”

  8. China has another tactic besides the 51% ownership requirement that is far more insidious. Cisco factories in China were duplicated in every detail by the Chinese. In this way Chinese Cisco network devices were made in the exact likeness and function to Cisco’s devices… except for whatever implants the Chinese incorporated. This same tactic is practiced with other foreign factories in China.

  9. Fred says:

    Just make products for Cisco on the day shift then run the same product on the swing shift for other customers changing only the branding. Cisco gets to pay for all the capital and maintenance. My employer settled a major commercial branding issue with Valeo for doing just that a number of years ago. There are plenty of off brand product made just the same way. The EU has, or had, legislation requiring only a tooling depreciate payment for a supplier to use your tools on their product. Even with strict contractual obligations you’ll be losing a lot of money that way – but usually get stuck with the liablity if there were any defects.

  10. Rick Merlotti says:

    I beg to differ. The NAWAPA project of the 50′ and 60’s would have addressed the West’s water needs for generations. Shot down by the Enviromentalist movement, natch.

  11. EconomicsExpert says:

    The ending of 51% ownership rule applies to ONLY insurance & finacial services companies ..
    the 51% ownership by Chinese partner STILL applies to all other sectors including technolgoy & manufacturing, even after 2020
    reprint from AP/Associated Press:
    “Earlier Friday, China announced a timetable for carrying out a promise to allow full foreign ownership of some finance businesses, starting with futures traders on Jan. 1,
    Beijing tries to make its slowing economy more competitive and efficient.
    Ownership limits will be ended for mutual fund companies on April 1 and for securities firm on Dec. 1, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said.
    Until now, foreign investors have been limited to owning 51% of such businesses.”

  12. Lars says:

    I find it curious that scientists, scholars, journalists and economists are spending their days deceiving everyone, but a tv reality personality with decades of documented fraud and lies somehow has become a beacon of truth telling.
    Maybe something is not adding up.

  13. Jack says:

    Yes, Huawei began by stealing Cisco technology. Cisco settled the IP infringement lawsuit out of court for some promises that apparently were never fulfilled. The CCP needs hard currency capital now, so they’ve relaxed the rules for FDI including the 51% ownership for financial entities that can bring in capital. They announced all this sometime back. Note however they have made more stringent capital repatriation rules. They are happy if you send them dollars but you can’t take any of it back!
    China also needs to buy pork and other ag products as they have lost half their hog herd to swine flu. IMO, there’s no concession on the CCPs part in this phase and neither is there much of a concession on Trump’s part other than to postpone a 5% increase in tariffs.
    OTOH, we see how Apple and the NBA kowtow to the Chinese Communists for a few dollars. Steve Kerr always has commentary critical of US society but is left “speechless” when his hypocrisy is highlighted with respect to the totalitarian CCP.

  14. turcopolier says:

    “with decades of documented fraud and lies” Unless you provide a detailed list of his “documented fraud and lies” for our disputation you are just another Schiff or Pelosi.

  15. Jack says:

    Another issue with California wildfires is that development has pushed into areas more prone to fires.
    This is the 2 year anniversary of the Napa/Sonoma wildfires that came through our ranch and burned to the ground the ranch house that my grandpa built. We were fortunate that many of the firebreaks held despite the high winds and spared the barns, stables, vineyards and orchards. It has been reported recently that investigation has shown the failure of poles and other electrical infrastructure due to high winds along with a lot of brush from the good winter rains the previous year proved to be a highly combustible mix. Fires have been recorded at our ranch at 20-30 year intervals for a century but it seems that the frequency of fires in the nearby areas have increased lately.
    The quality of California infrastructure has clearly deteriorated over the past 30 years and I believe they have contributed to the increased incidents.

  16. j says:

    Trump is contemplating the U.S. leaving the Open Skies Treaty. Rep. Engel (D-NY) and other Democrats of the Congress are expressing ‘alarm’ and are opposing exiting of the Open Skies Treaty. Is this the ‘Brexit’ for our U.S. (pun intended). The Open Skies Treaty has been used by various Nation’s Intelligence Agencies to gain a peak-see on perceived opponents current topography and items of Intelligence interests.
    So what say yea?

  17. Jim S says:

    I’ve thought well of Shep Smith since his coverage of post-hurricane Haiti, now a number of years ago. But I’m more interested in Fox News contributor Judge Napolitano, who flipped into the NeverTrump camp earlier this year along with fellow Libertarian Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan. Something odd is going on among Libertarians.

  18. TonyL says:

    About Southern California Burning.
    Reason why the fires have been more and more frequent each year: The raining seasons have been longer and longer each time with heavy rains. The droughts have been also longer each time. And the Santa Ana wind (for Southern Cal) is too much a force of nature.
    It has nothing to do with illegal immigration or camp grounds.

  19. Jack, it’s true that American businesses, actually all businesses, will kiss any number of asses and endure any amount of humiliation for a crack at the Chinese market. Despite Trump’s rhetoric, China is driving this train.
    Certain companies seem to have the right idea. VW is making a huge push for the Chinese EV market by building factories in China. Their aiming at the US EV market by building EVs for our market in their US factory rather than in Mexico. Let’s face it. VW is an international company, not a German company.

  20. Factotum says:

    WSJ editorial two days ago reported PG&E ( Calif electric utillity) in the past decades has spent billions on green power and electric car subsidies and skimped on routine maintenance. Also reported 90% of fires are not caused by electric lines. Eco-terrorists in this state prevent access roads which eliminated an early response once the Paradise fire was first spotted.
    The irony is all this eco-stuff is just window dressing to cover up the real agenda in this state – grow government jobs, salaries, benefits and pensions for public sector unions, who in turn make sure revolving door Democrats keep winning our term-limited elections. Term limits created a power vacuum and the public sector unions swooped in and made themselves bulletproof. In just 20 years – that is why this state has gone so far off the rails.
    Case in point, the California Teachers Association is the very most powerful and well funded government employee union of them all. They consume 50% of the entire state budget. Yet our K-12 schools rank #45 nationwide and are now over 65% “english learners” – substitute any ethnic identification you want for that term.
    Term limits led to a public employee union take over of this state – from top to bottom. They can’t admit their own greed, so they dress up other issues as their cause celebre – green agenda, social justice, criminal reform, open borders…etc.
    All of which, you notice, simply feed more government jobs and more demands on our tax dollars to hire the relatives and raid the treasury – the guaranteed recipe for a third world nation.
    Walked downtown today in one of their “affluent and attractive coastal cities” and it was a GD freak show – on a Saturday in a town that depends on tourism and retail sales. A GD freak show – hustlers, con-artists, grifters, on the sidewalks, blaring music, camped in entry ways of now vacant businesses.
    SF and LA pushing their vagrants out means they get a bus ticket to come here. Yet the Democrats keep winning and managing the political dialogue – freezing any complaints as “cruel, heartless and privileged. So people leave rather than fight. With 50% of the state budget paid by the top 1%,
    it will take only a few of the woke Silicon Valley billionaires to stop this Ponzi scheme of a state in its tracks. But they rest secure behind their walled estates and private jets. Private industry and private property ownerships who still can protect those rights are the only thing holding together the veneer of the California dream. But daily they get kicked in the teeth.
    Demographics in this state have reached a tipping point. Let this be a lesson for the rest of the country. Lesson one – term limits are not the answer – lazy voters are the problem.

  21. Factotum says:

    State water was planned for 20 million people in this state. We now are staggering under 40 million – mainly recent undocumented arrivals who brought their very high birth rates with them.
    Teachers unions in this state (CTA) need them to keep their classrooms filled, and teacher union dues flowing into Democrat candidates who can out-spend and out-destroy anyone who dares to run against them.

  22. Factotum says:

    Lars, your assessment of Trump is not adding up. Trump was a long time property developer, self made man well beyond any family seed money and a force of nature for years.
    His reality TV show was only frosting on the cake that he had long ago baked. Trump is a showman. He sells sizzle. We know this and accept this. Much better than Barry selling the soul of this country down the river for the prior 8 years. Relax and enjoy the fun.

  23. Factotum says:

    Recent rash of small fires are very much due to vagrants camps along the RR tracks and freeways.
    Don’t forget the cartels illegal pot grows in our federal forest land too. They use a lot of heat and spark producing equipment miles out of reach and sight.
    Vagrants will soon be declared health and safety threats, just like any communicable disease vector, which will finally take them out of the “progressive” social justice” down on their luck victim free pass.

  24. Fred says:

    Of course PG&E did not conduct proper line maintenance. They were hindered by environmental regulations. Similarly the rural areas are not properly cleared of undergrowth that is highly flammable. Both contributed to the spread of the fires and their intensity. As to the unions and others relying on tax revenue for their future, they will soon run out of other people’s money.

  25. Factotum says:

    Of note – (1) California – (2) public pension CalPERS (the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world) and (3)China:
    …….”A troubling article published in Epoch Times in July 2019 exposed allegedly deep ties between the Chinese regime and the Chief Investment Officer at CalPERS, Yu Ben Meng. The article states that Meng’s position as deputy CIO at China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), which he occupied from 2015-2018, “have provoked controversy about the operations of the largest public retirement fund in the United States.”…………..
    Is this part of Hunter Biden’s dealings with China since CalPERS is essentially an arm of the Democrat Party in this state?
    The same CalPERS who turns down US gun manufacturer investments as being woke, but have no problem investing in support for the Chinese military.

  26. TonyL says:

    Sometimes it helps to temporarily suppress your prejudice to take a hard look at the big picture. Extreme weather like I’ve said above is the root cause for more and more fires every year here in Southern Cal.
    Southern California wildfires are almost always caused by dumb or careless people doing dumb things.
    Sandalwood fires: garbage truck dumped hot load which started a trash fire that eventually spreaded and burned 7,500 acres:

  27. EconomicsExpert says:

    In reply to Fred
    I live in California — investigations show PG&E is a for-profit company that diverted $495+ million dollars that was supposed to move power lines underground to shield them from high winds
    well as install more safety measures but instead spent it on increased executive pay & profits for shareholders/investors
    Don’t believe all the articles from FoxNews or Wall St Journal that
    just tells only 1 side of the story–they
    published the falsehood that the private private sector Xerox invented the the internet when instead it was the gov
    that invented the internet, which they never retracted and so wrong
    that even
    Xerox published a press release that they didn’t invent the internet

    it was actually Vint Cerf & Kahn who were both
    research professors at gov university UCLA on gov DARPA contract that
    invented the internet
    “Though PG&E is positioning the move as a preventative measure, it was also avoidable: the company chose to diverting money from power line under-grounding projects
    — among other infrastructure initiatives —
    to “other high priority system improvements”
    like boosting corporate profits
    paying executives even more.

    Despite their recent bankruptcy filing, the company’s chief executive officer Bill Johnson received an annual base salary of $2.5 million for a three-year contract — double the salary of the previous CEO.
    In 1994, the company’s failure to trim trees near its power lines led to the Trauner Fire in Nevada County, California.
    In 1997, a jury found the company guilty on 739 counts of criminal negligence for causing this fire.
    Thanks to a subsequent California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) investigation, the public learned that between 1987 and 1994

    PG&E diverted $495 million from its budgets to maintain its systems to boost corporate profits.

    Decades later, another an investigation by the California Public Utilities Commission found that
    PG&E diverted more than
    $100 million in gas safety and
    operations collected from customers over a 15-year period to spend on bonuses for executives,
    among other profit-makers for key stakeholders.

    The investigation linked its inadequate safety culture to the pipeline explosion in San Bruno on Sept. 9, 2010, which killed eight people.
    In 2017, four fires occurred in California’s Wine Country because trees hit PG&E power lines.
    The company is also responsible for the 2018 Camp Fire, which was the deadliest in the state’s history.
    Despite the corruption that was documented in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, in 2017,
    state regulators approved spending $60 million to move existing PG&E electrical lines underground.
    The tactic would shield exposed power lines from gusty winds that spread fires — but the company only
    spent $28.3 million on the initiative, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
    In 2018, a KTVU investigation found records of unused funds belonging to cities and towns, and by 2016, nearly $44 million dollars were left unspent.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, PG&E removed 451,000 more trees between and 2018 than it had originally planned in an increased effort to deal with massive tree mortality.
    Some politicians and activists have called to municipalize the perpetually negligent utility company, including San Francisco Mayor London Breed.
    Currently, PG&E is going through Chapter 11 bankruptcy from the 2017 fires as victims of the Camp Fire have filed millions of dollars in damage lawsuits against the utility company.
    Another major wildfire on PG&E’s watch could equate to more political trouble for the corporation; that consideration played into the calculus that led to their decision to OK a Public Safety Power Shutoff.”

  28. Seamus Padraig says:

    Oops! I missed the “not” in the statement somehow. Sorry for the error.

  29. Lars says:

    The Trump University was a fraud and the Washington Post has a long list of thousands of lies since he was sworn in. Of course, you could ask all his wives too.

  30. Lee says:

    Wrt California fires. Cleared out areas under power lines would help remove one ignition factor of many that start wildfires but is a weak attempt to blame one group of people, damn hippies, for the problem of wildfires where people live. When 50 mph bone dry 95 F winds blow through a brush hillside that 30’ cleared area under lines means nothing when the spark comes from farm equipment, a vehicle on the road dragging metal, or a retired military guy living the dream in the hills.
    Eco hippies didn’t drive man made fuel sources, aka housing developments, into scrub fuel sources. Regular people of all types do that. Look at all the fires in suburban settings that go up in smoke, lots more fuel in a house or apartment complex than a scrub grass field.

  31. turcopolier says:

    Yes, the Trump University was a scam. His wives have all done quite well financially rom being married to a man incapable of marital fidelity. The Post’s view of what are lies and what are exaggerations is simply political polemic. What do you do or did to make a living? Evangelical preacher maybe?

  32. CK says:

    Napolitano wanted a SC nomination. Trump did not give him one. Instant NeverTrumper.
    Have no clue about Amash.

  33. Lee says:

    It’s convenient to have someone lower on the totem pole to blame. I grew up in Kern county and coastal areas. Experienced a few major conflagrations up close. People who live on the margins of society are a small factor in the major elements that make up these devastating fires.

  34. turcopolier says:

    Amash is of Arab descent. Why would he like Trump?

  35. srw says:

    I think his charity was also a scam. The NY authorities shut it down and if I remember right his kids and Trump himself are forbidden to run any charities in the state.

  36. Fred says:

    EconomicsExpert ,
    “investigations show PG&E is a for-profit company” Wow, you needed an investigation to fiugre that out?
    “In 1994, the company’s failure to trim trees…” That’s a couple decades ago.
    “California Public Utilities Commission …. between 1987 and 1994”
    That’s still a couple decades ago. I guess you should have changed the state legislature to change who was on the CPUC. You might also research privatization and divestiture of transmission lines, that happened a couple of decages ago.
    How many miles of 500KV transmission lines are going to be needed to elminate electric transmission lines as a cause of fires? I can’t find the word “underground” in the ISO draft document. But then they don’t have PG&E’s revenue stream and aren’t thus a target of lawyers yet.
    I won’t bother to ask if you are going to ban matches or outdoor BBQs as causes of fires.
    How is the capacitor effect from these lines being burried going to be addressed? Have fun paying because neither $60 million nor the previously mentioned $495 million to “maintain its systems” is going to touch the cost.

  37. Fred says:

    “a vehicle on the road ”
    A hot catalytic converter in the exhaust system and tall grass. That’s caused more that one fire in South Florida.
    “Eco Hippies” move to areas made civilezed by all those other people.

  38. Factotum says:

    Students at his real estate investing seminars were uniformly happy with the content – they did get him on fraudulent marketing hype in small details; but not on the substance of the offering.
    Three marriages is not unusual any longer, but his real testament of family values are his rather exemplary children. You can’t expose anything about Trump that has not been in the news for a very long time. Voters knew what they were getting. He hides nothing, which is part of his deeper appeal. Look up the old Peter Grave’s PSB documentary “Biography” on Donald Trump and see what else you can learn about him.
    Learn about Trump (and Marla) following Dr Norman Vincent Peale and The Method as set out in the former best selling Power of Positive Thinking as preached from his NYC Marble Collegiate Church. This will help you understand the person of Donald Trump better than anything you try to cough up today.
    If this is any interest, I was a rabid No-Trumper even hoping the PeePee dossier would prevent his inauguration. However, once I saw was a scam the Democrats were up to after he was sworn in, I quickly become a Pro-Trumper and now have never looked back with a moment of regret. Trump-Pence 2020.

  39. Factotum says:

    Amash family rumored to have business dealings with China that could have been affected by Trump’s China trade policies. All politics are both local and personal – old truism remains intact.

  40. Factotum says:

    What is “extreme weather”? When there is no long term data, how can anything be deemed “extreme” as if there was one Golden Temperature Mean. Adapt or die. We can roll with 1 degree of temperature change, if even that is to be believed in any reliable context.

  41. Factotum says:

    BTW: Vagrants cooking meth camped out in open fields on hot days has triggered many local fires. Or meth heads cooking meth in their lean to homes or RV’s -same thing. Good thing the Democrats declared we won the “war against drugs” right?

  42. Diana C says:

    It’s Sunday, so I’m trying to honor the Fourth Commandment. But, I just can’t help but applaud the firing of Shephard Smith. And I agree that Chris Wallace could also be let go, and I would be happy.
    I understood that FOX was making an attempt to provide more balanced commentary. With Smith and Wallace, however, it’s their smugness that made/makes me want to turn off the Television while they are talking. I was extremely happy when Bob Beckel was finally kicked off “The Five.”

  43. EconomicsExpert says:

    “investigations show PG&E is a for-profit company” Wow, you needed an investigation to fiugre that out?
    1) NO, but you do need an investigation to figure out as stated in my FULL QUOTE: “PG&E is a for-profit company that diverted $495+ million dollars that was supposed to move power lines underground to shield them from high winds
    well as install more safety measures but instead spent it on increased executive pay & profits for shareholders/investors”
    Cutting off or editing out a full quote is how propaganda & intellectually
    dishonest media operates on both CNN, MSNBC, & FoxNews ..don’t be like them
    2) Solar power absolutely powers homes as long as you have a battery to store the energy or an electric car who can reverse charge & power the home (most electric cars can)
    2) Because firefighter investigations show 96% of fires are started by humans discarding cigarette butts or campfires/firepits or electrical equipment malfunctions,
    are clear-cut designated campfire areas/barbeque areas & smoking areas where
    you can smoke cigarettes & make campfires & have barbeques (usually, there are steel barbeques stands & firepits made of concrete also already provided in those areas)
    smoking & campfires are prohibited out of those designated areas
    “Last year, humans were to blame for more than
    96 percent of California’s 8,054 wildfires, according to the National Interagency Fire Center, whether the first embers came from abandoned firepits,
    discarded cigarettes
    equipment malfunctions.”

  44. ex PFC Chuck says:

    This just flew by on my Twitter feed: “US-allied Kurds strike deal to bring Assad’s Syrian troops back . . .

  45. ISL says:

    Fred, my company does contract work for one of the other utility companies in California. Cannot go into details as it is litigation related. They were not /are not hindered from proper maintenance by regulations. PG&E rolled the dice.

  46. Lars says:

    If those students were so happy, why did they sue him and force him to settle for a fairly large amount? It has also been shown that he did not take his marriage vows seriously and now we see that he did not take his oath of office seriously either.
    I see a lot of “Yes, but….” argument coming from the Cool Aid drinkers. Yes, he does things that are dumb, amoral and even illegal, but……
    There is no doubt in my mind that when the people that got us the US Constitution inserted the Impeachment Clause, they had somebody like Donald Trump in mind and the first use of it was against William Blount and he was removed from office. What they have in common is centered around real estate deals and betrayals.

  47. TonyL says:

    I can’t argue with that. Honestly, I don’t see trends in statistics either.
    However, living in Southern Cal all my life, I can see the climate pattern changed gradually in the last 40 years or so. And I’m saying it is just nature (not arguing about the CO2). We have been practically praying for rain because the droughts last too long. And then when it rains it pours. All the dried out vegetation need is a careless act by anybody, or just a crazy accident like Fred mentioned below about catalytic converter.
    I also agree with Lee above: “It’s convenient to have someone lower on the totem pole to blame”.

  48. Fred says:

    Thanks for the discredit, disqualify commentary. Right back at you since misquoting something and preceding from that is standard conduct on the internet. 1994 is still more than 2 decades ago. Thanks for the NYT link. That is not an answer to how burying transmission lines will cut wildfires or how much that would cost.

  49. turcopolier says:

    Not an evangelical preacher? “real estate deals and betrayals.” Maybe your mother would punish you for this but these are not impeachable offenses. Ah, I forget the Democrats are going to impeach whether or not it is justified by anything other than their political ambition.

  50. Terence Gore says:

    “In the long term, leaving forests overgrown and prone to unnaturally destructive wildfires means there will be significantly less biomass on the ground, and more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”
    I don’t think climate pattern change is the biggest factor with the wild fires. Nor do I think it is the homeless or someone lower on the totem pole.

  51. Terence Gore says:
    “This assessment found that, from 2000 and 2017, there have been 187 wildfires having reported suppression costs greater than $20 million in the eleven Western states. Most of these incidents cost much more than $20 million to control. In all, the total suppression costs, alone, exceeded $8 billion for these 187 incidents.:::
    California had the greatest number of reported high-cost incidents; 97 out of the 187 (52%). Of these 97 incidents, 59 were within Little’s natural range of ponderosa pine (60.82%).”

  52. Lee says:

    The “eco-hippies” I knew in the forests of Mendocino in the ‘70’s built homes and cleared under growth as specified by best forestry practices to reduce fire and maximize timber production. These were the civilized people I knew. Retired military folks, Easterners and Californians in their 30’s. Smart people. Hard working. This whole condemnation of “eco hippies” to define wildfire ignition is a lazy assed canard by people who should know better. California population has doubled in 50 yrs. That puts more people and more fuel and ignition sources into a bounded geography. I would wager there are more suburban and city idiots of any political stripe causing wildfires than there are “eco-hippies”, ie Americans, in the hills.

  53. Factotum says:

    Maybe the decades of heavy Southern California smog kept the ambient air temperatures lower in LA. LA is now a “climate change” victim of cleaner air if you claim it is now registering higher temperatures ?
    Suggestions have been made to shoot sun-blocking particles in to the air as a global cooling attempt. Therefore, smog causing cooler LA ground temperatures therefore is not outside the realm of possibility.
    Did the air temperatures of London also rise when they got rid of their “heavy fogs”. (dirty coal smoke pollution blocking out the sun)

  54. Lars says:

    I doubt any evangelical church would want this old Norse heathen to preach to them, even if they could benefit from it. I am a builder and have been one since about age 5, so I know the essence of building, which is the creative use of tension to override the force of gravity. DJT brags about being one, but I have my doubts. I do think that he is about to realize how strong that gravity can be, even meta formally.

  55. Fred says:

    If only the people of noble diversity were as capable as eco boomer people of the 1970s. Best forest practices have changed quite a bit since then. Humanity hasn’t.

  56. prawnik says:

    If Trump had taken the seed capital he borrowed from his father, used it to buy shares in an S&P 500 Index Fund and reinvested most of the proceeds, he would be far richer than he is today.

  57. charly says:

    TINA is always evil if the other side does.

  58. charly says:

    His charity was an obvious tax scam. I don’t think anybody gave money to it who wasn’t in on the scam.

  59. A.I.S. says:

    Far left perspective on Trump.
    I prefer him over quite a number of alternatives. He is actually quite honest about what he is (an Oligarch essentially). This is preferable to those “leftists” like Obama (zero Banksters imprisoned, thousands of Nazis armed, oh yeah, he “Obamacare” is a wet dream for insurance lobbyists, on top of that his undue love affair with reactionary Islamists add in the number of destroyed countries for mostly no reason).
    Now the US fake left tries to impeach him because he was maybe willing to not arm Ukrainian Nazis.

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